So far all of our reservations, B&B’s cars, flights, etc. have been flawless (THANK YOU AMBER). Of course now there are continuing stories of flights being canceled due to the volcanic ash from Iceland. Add to that a strike by British Airways (our flight back home), and all three of us now have our fingers crossed.
Today we drove from Glasgow to Edinburgh – not really a long drive at all. We stopped at three planned places along the way, and a third popped up along the way.
First was the Falkirk Wheel which is better seen in person that read about. It’s a giant lift used to lift boats 35 meters so they can avoid having to go through the equivalent of 11 locks. Very odd and they seem to have tried to turn it into a tourist attraction. We stood and watched a small barge of tourists being lifted up, boat, water and all, then wait, wait, wait, then the barge was lowered again. It certainly got the point across, but it was something like £8 for the ride, which I didn’t think was worth it (it looked pretty boring; truth be told).
Second was the Forth Bridge in northern Edinburgh. Well, actually there are two Forth Bridges – one for cars and such and another for trains. These bridges cross the Firth of Forth – which can get to be a mouthful! We were interested in the bridge built for trains. While both bridges are one mile long, the one for trains was the first major steel bridge ever built, in 1890. It’s held together by more than eight million rivets. The bridge is so big, and needs constant painting (and yes, there were parts covered up for renovation – see more on this below), that the saying “it’s like painting the Forth Bridge” means something is that non-stop and repetitive.
Rosyln Chapel is there somewhere...
Third, we headed south of Edinburgh for the Rosyln Chapel. I’d read that the ceilings inside the chapel were very ornate and a “must see”. This was also a location where part of the Da Vinci Code movie was filmed. As a side note, we’d seen that virtually ALL of the churches we’ve visited have been undergoing renovation. This means that typically we walk up, and the front ¼ of the building is hidden by scaffolding. I realize this has to be done, and it’s probably an ongoing task, but really – EVERY church? So, we pull up to Rosyln Chapel and we look off in the distance where we *think* the chapel is. And we see a metal roof? Over a mass of scaffolding? Yup – you guessed it. The chapel was undergoing a huge renovation. But I figure, hey, that’s ok since I came to see the interior anyway. But of course, as we get nearer, there’s a sign saying that there’s scaffolding inside as well and the ceilings are not currently visible. And for this you’re supposed to pay £8 ? I don’t think so… so we left… quite disappointed.
But on the way back, we stumbled across an Ikea and a COSTCO!! Score! I did not like Ikea at all (I felt like part of a herd of cattle being forced down the chute to slaughter) – but of course Costco was great fun. Since I’d heard they had Costco’s over here, I brought my card with me – and it got all three of us in without question. They had typical things like Kirkland brand dog food, but also different things – like hard liquor for one. It felt so good to be inside! It was interesting though – the street that Ikea and Costco were on was named Costkea.
New Car for Mike
Finally, we headed for our B&B. It’s on the northeast side of Edinburgh, on the water! Past experiences with B&Bs on the water has not been too great. But this one rocks – it’s called Joppa Turrets and between my windows and the water is a little garden, a walking path, and sand! With my windows open I can hear the gentle surf.